After watching the Mets play the Marlins tonight, it left me wondering,"Where's Pedro?"
The Mets loss to the Marlins by the score of 16-8 at Port St Lucie. Eight runs is more than enough to win a ballgame, but it wasn't tonight.
The story was the return of Johan Santana. He pitched well and the Mets kept a strict pitch count on him. He mixed his pitches well and kept most of the Marlins off balance.
For a Met fan, the ugly side of this game came when Redding came into the ballgame. Redding showed a lot of rust. The Marlins knew it and rocked him.
Is it time for the Meets to panic about the fifth starter? Probably not. The concern is that neither Niese, Hernandez, Garcia, and Redding have taking the lead to be elected the fifth starter.
Niese is not ready for the majors this year. He doesn't have an overpowering fastball. He is working on a change-up this spring under the coaching of John Franco, but this is an experiment.
He has a 12-to-six curveball that is his strong pitch. This type of curveball is unusual for a left-hander. Niese's problem is he changes his delivery when he throws his curve and it is a dead giveaway. He may need another year in the minors to make those corrections.
Hernandez is too inconsistent and does not have the velocity he once had when he helped win a World Series for the Marlins.
Garcia has not been good at all. His inconsistency to throw strikes may cost him his chance to make the club.
This leaves the question about Pedro Martinez. Pedro is a proven winner. He knows how to pitch. He knows what it takes to get the batter out and win a ballgame.
Forget about the fact that Pedro has been injured the last two years. Forget about the fact that Pedro was going through a tough time in his life with his father dying from cancer.
Pedro is a winner, period. His stuff at 37 is still better than what the Mets have to candidate for the fifth spot.
If Pedro can start 20-25 games and win 10, he will be worth the signing. This is not the Pedro that was hurt for the last two years. His type of surgery takes two years to recover. The two years have come and Pedro should be totally healthy again.
Pedro Martinez is the leader to teach kids like Niese and Parnell how to pitch inside and be aggressive. He will teach these kids how to dig deep inside to be a winner. You can't be any more of a fighter than Pedro.
Pedro should have been the answer for the fifth spot in the rotation. Omar needs to get his blackberry out and give Pedro a call. Bring back the pitcher that brought the Mets back to respectability. He wants to come back and the Mets should bring him back.